CORE Electric Cooperative Advances its Energy Future with Withdrawal from Comanche 3 Power Plant

CORE Electric Cooperative (CORE) has asserted its right to withdraw from partial ownership of the Comanche Unit 3 power plant by written notice to Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, Inc (Xcel). The notice stipulates that PSCo must purchase the asset from CORE pursuant to project agreements between the two parties. This action is an additional step by CORE to secure its clean and reliable energy future, recover costs and protect its members from future financial burdens due to ongoing mismanagement of the power plant by PSCo.

“Systemic failures by PSCo to prudently operate Comanche 3 since it came online in 2010 have severely impacted our commitment to providing affordable, reliable power to our member-owners,” said Jeff Baudier, Chief Executive Officer of CORE. “Despite every effort by CORE to be heard, PSCo has ignored our rights and driven this plant to dysfunction through mismanagement and incompetence. This situation is untenable, and CORE must move on to forge our clean, reliable, and affordable energy future.”

CORE currently has 25% non-operating ownership in the Comanche Unit 3 power plant, which has been offline more than 700 days since 2010, including almost all of 2020 and half of 2022 to date. Due to PSCo’s failure to operate the plant in accordance with Prudent Utility Practices, CORE has incurred millions of dollars of additional repair and maintenance costs and has deprived its members of entitled power during the numerous, lengthy outages of the unit. Under the project agreements, CORE has the right to withdraw, and PSCo must buy out CORE’s interest.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) investigations into the plant concluded that the operation and maintenance performed by PSCo did not meet basic industry standards of prudence throughout the plant’s history. These conclusions mirrored those reached by PSCo’s own independent experts.

CORE filed a lawsuit on September 7, 2021, alleging that PSCo breached its contract related to Comanche Unit 3 on several accounts. The trial is scheduled for October 2023.

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ABOUT CORE Electric Cooperative (CORE): CORE is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative that provides power to nearly 170,000 members inside a 5,000-square-mile service area along Colorado’s Front Range. Its headquarters is in Sedalia, and district offices are in Bennett, Conifer, and Woodland Park.